Dayr Mar Elian Archaeological Project

Emma Loosley, 2004

Data copyright © Prof Emma Loosley unless otherwise stated

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Prof Emma Loosley
Theology and Religion
University of Exeter
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Emma Loosley (2004) Dayr Mar Elian Archaeological Project [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Dayr Mar Elian esh Sharqi (the monastery of St. Julian of the East) is located to the west of the village of Qaryatayn in the Syrian desert between Homs and Palmyra. As an oasis settlement Qaryatayn has been inhabited for many millennia, as illustrated by the substantial tell south of the modern village. It is on the Damascus-Palmyra trade route on a Roman limes and so housed a garrison of soldiers to safely escort visitors across the desert - a practice that was continued until the end of the nineteenth century.

Qaryatayn is also approximately 45km south of Qasr al Heir al Gharbi, an extensive Umayyad pleasure palace, which was irrigated by the Roman dam at Kharbaqa. This evidence shows that the region remained relatively prosperous until at least the Umayyad period through its location at the crossroads of several trade routes passing from Palmyra in the east towards Homs and Lebanon and south-west to Damascus.

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